Sony made a big deal about its CES 2020 press event in the days leading up to the show, and we all expected the company to include at least some preliminary PlayStation 5 details in its announcements. Sony did talk about the PS5, recapping all the PS5 data it shared publicly so far and offering just one more small piece of new info. The PS5 logo emerged at CES, and that’s about it. Sony did tease that the console’s most exciting features haven’t yet been revealed, and while we have no idea what they are at this point, there’s mounting evidence to support the idea that the PS5 will come with a great new built-in feature nobody saw coming.
Back in late September, a Sony patent showed a so-called “PlayStation Assist” voice-activated virtual assistant that would be able to help gamers by relaying relevant information while they’re playing PlayStation games. That assistant would provide real-time information about game objectives, items, maps, and in-game events. That’s the kind of feature that could certainly come in handy, especially since you wouldn’t have to stop to use a phone or computer to search for help with a more difficult quest. The assistant would be there to help right away.
A few weeks later, Sony unveiled the new PS5 controllers and someone who saw the device said it had a hole that resembled a microphone. Sony would not confirm or deny whether it included a microphone on the next-gen DualShock controller.
Finally, a new Sony patent detailed one other piece of technology that the company had been developing for consoles, a system that would be able to characterize user-generated content associated with gameplay. Being able to tell what’s happening on the screen during gameplay is the kind of feature that an intelligent assistant would need.
One embodiment of the present invention that solves the problems of the above conventional example is a controller device that is held by a user’s hand, including a microphone, a tactile presentation device that presents a tactile sense to the user’s hand, and a speaker, While the user is inputting voice from the microphone, the sound of the speaker is suppressed, and tactile presentation control by the tactile presentation device is performed.
As with any patent, there’s no guarantee that Sony will actually use this invention for the PS5’s DualShock 5 controller. However, these can’t all be coincidences. And this latest patent is the ultimate proof that Sony wants to place a microphone on a controller.
Should that happen, one could easily assume that Sony plans to evolve the voice recognition capabilities of the console to build services on top of it, services that might not be available on the Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch. And given that so many companies are investing more resources in their own assistants, and that Microsoft does have one as well (Cortana), it would certainly make sense to see this nifty new PlayStation Assistant debut with the PS5 this fall.